Tips from the Battlefield
At the last general session of the Christian Filmmakers Guild, Stephen Kendrick, Producer with Kendrick Brothers’ Films quipped, “If any of our bullets from the battleground fit in your gun, then use them.”
For context, he showed the trailer for Overcomer, which ended with a voice uttering the theme of both the movie and Kendrick’s talk, “Your identity will be whatever you tie your heart to.”
Tonight, filmmakers were treated to Part II of Kendrick’s talk with some basics of filmmaking illustrated through the filming of the Kendrick Brothers’ new movie, Overcomer.
“We go into months of prayer deciding what film to do next. We want the God idea, not a good idea,” Kendrick explained. “We pray about everything. If it’s big enough to worry about, pray about it…We’re prayin’ for the right camera, the right lighting, the right actors. Prayer has carried us through every movie.”
Inspired by Proverbs 22:6, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings and will not stand before unknown men,” Kendrick exhorted filmmakers to excel in their work, as unto the Lord.
After each film, they ask themselves how can they grow in writing, acting, producing, cinematography, everything.
“Are you committed to excelling in everything you do?” Kendrick asked.
He shared their humble beginnings starting with no money filming early shorts up to now $5.7 million to film, Overcomer. He chronicled the steady improvements to their equipment and staffing, as well as their process of bringing in new people to help sharpen their skills. Then he took the audience through the process of how he and his brother Alex brainstorm and organize each scene for each film.
“We couldn’t have jumped over any of these movies to make a $4 million film. We needed the lessons learned from each one before we did the next one,” Kendrick insisted. “Wherever you are, be a good steward with it. Even if still VHS. Get good at storytelling. Be a good steward of it.”
Kendrick shifted the conversation to guarding the message of your film.
“The message of your movie is more important than your movie,” Kendrick argued.
Here are the messages of the Kendrick films:
- Flywheel – Lordship
- Facing the Giant – Faith
- Fireproof – Love/marriage
- Courageous – Fatherhood
- War Room – Prayer
- Overcomer – Identity
Then Kendrick revealed the spiritual journey God took him on as he and Alex honed in on the message of one’s identity in Christ. God spoke through the book of Ephesians, which encapsulates the entire story of our identity in Christ for the believer. He also used the adoption of his daughter, Mia, as an illustration of who she was before and after she was adopted, just like a believer’s transformation spiritually when they receive their new identity in Christ.
He concluded asking, “Do YOU know who you are in Christ?
Written by Terri Hall